The New York Giants have a game Monday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The real intrigue, though, is whether or not the 1-6 Giants will make any further moves before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET NFL trade deadline.
The Giants already shipped off one veteran who didn’t seem to fit their future, or even current, plans by sending edge defender Markus Golden to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for a 2021 sixth-round pick.
Coach Joe Judge has said he does not expect a sell-off, or as he put it a “string of moves.” What makes sense and what doesn’t for the Giants? Let’s discuss.
Most likely to be moved
WR Golden Tate — The 32-year-old Tate signed a four-year, $37.5 million deal with the Giants before the 2019 season. The Giants could save $8.5 million against the 2021 salary cap by designating Tate a post-June release next offseason, and the smart money would likely say it’s a good bet the Giants will do just that.
Former Minnesota Vikings GM Jeff Diamond told Big Blue View a couple of weeks ago that Tate “isn’t tradeable because of his age and contract. What, though, if he is? Mohamed Sanu, an inferior player to Tate, fetched a second-round draft pick from the New England Patriots a season ago.
If there is a contending team out there willing to offer the Giants a fifth- or sixth-round pick, and I don’t know that there is, the Giants probably have to take it. The counter-argument is that they have a horrible offense now that doesn’t feature enough reliable weapons to truly judge second-year quarterback Daniel Jones. Sending Tate packing could make Jones’ life even more difficult for the remainder of the season.
OG Kevin Zeitler — The 30-year-old has one year left on a three-year, $32 million contract. He carried a $14.5 million cap hit next season that the Giants, with the cap expected to shrink, may not be able to afford.
Zeitler has been a good player since being chosen in the first round by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2012, but he hasn’t played up to his career standards this season. Is he regressing or being impacted by either an injury we don’t know about or the struggles of players around him? We don’t know for sure, but if they think he is regressing and they can get a mid-round pick for him it’s another move that would make sense.
The Giants do have fifth-round pick Shane Lemieux and have acknowledged they want to find him playing time.
The Giants could also use Chad Slade at guard or slide Cam Fleming inside for a few games and use rookie Matt Peart at right tackle.
Probably staying put
The Giants could certainly find a taker for a player with Engram’s skill set. Problem is, it increasingly seems like they won’t be able to find one that would offer more than a Day 3 draft pick. As frustrating as Engram can be, that means odds are the Giants won’t find a player as productive as he is with whatever pick they get back. Also, trading Engram brings us back to the argument about giving Jones a chance to succeed.
Could the Giants add?
I know, I know. Leonard Williams. But, there was word from Jordan Ranaan of ESPN that the Giants asked what the price might be for Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay, who is still on his rookie contract. That apparently went nowhere. There is also word that Cincinnati wide receiver John Ross is desperately seeking a new home. Ross has been a disappointment, but as desperately as the Giants need speed would it be a horrible thing to offer a 2022 seventh-round pick (the Giants don’t have a 2021 seventh) to take a flier? It’s probably not happening, but might be worth discussion.